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Italian Greyhound Adoption
What do you need to know before you adopt an Italian Greyhound? We asked the experts!
Here is what we find to be most important to know about Italian Greyhounds:
- Italian Greyhounds are not best suited to chaotic households or those with young, rambunctious children.
- Italian Greyhounds are known to break their legs, and repair usually requires surgery to plate or pin the bones together. That can cost between $1,500-$3,000 and requires a minimum of 8 weeks of crate rest. Thus, the reason they are not well suited to households with young or rambunctious children!
- Italian Greyhounds are sighthounds. If they want to chase prey or if they are spooked, they will run, blocking out the sound of their owner's voice, traffic, etc. IG's can run up to 35 mph. There is no chasing or catching them. They must never EVER be off-lead in unfenced areas no matter how well-trained.
- Italian Greyhounds LOVE their family and will want to be with them. They will take over the bed. They love burrowing under blankets. They hate the wind, rain and snow.
- Italian Greyhounds take much longer to potty train than other small breeds.
- Italian Greyhounds need consistent socialization throughout their lives so that they do not become too aloof or skittish.
- Italian Greyhounds love being in the company of other Italian Greyhounds.
- Italian Greyhounds do well living in apartments.
Italian Greyhounds love to be lap dogs, under the covers, and near their owners as much as possible. They often like to be kenneled with another IG for company. Separation anxiety is common when they are alone in a kennel. They can be timid around strangers.
Italian Greyhounds aren’t generally very barky dogs. They also don’t tend to have “dog smell” and need very little grooming.
Housetraining difficulty is the number one reason Italian Greyhounds are surrendered to rescue groups. They WILL have accidents when the temperatures start to change in the fall, when it is rainy outside, or there is dew on the ground even. They need to go outside to potty every 4 hours usually, so may not be a fit for somebody who can't come home at lunch. Since they are sighthounds, they will chase anything and everything, so they need a fenced yard. People who adopt one should also be extremely careful when exiting a door that does not lead to a fenced area. However, electric fencing may be too traumatic for them and is never recommended.
Italian Greyhounds range from 6 to 20+ pounds when full-grown; however, most in rescue are generally from 10 to 18 pounds. Italian Greyhounds should not be allowed to be even slightly overweight, as extra weight is bad for their hips and patellas. At a proper weight, you should be able to see a little bit of rib and vertebrae.
This is a breed that needs a very experienced adopter. They must ALWAYS be kept on a leash, preferably a martingale type collar that can't be slipped out. Harnesses can often be escaped because of their deep chest if they are spooked.
Things to know about IG's before adopting: We always want people to know the pros and cons.
CONS: Their legs can be very fragile and if they get broken the cost is very expensive $1200 to $3500 per leg. The breed has a lot of epilepsy, thyroid issues, luxating patella, PRA (blindness at an early age), alopecia and food allergies. They can be extremely hard to housebreak. Never to be trusted off leash, they are as fast as lightening and do not have good recall...they are a sighthound. Don't always do well as only dogs. Can have separation anxiety. Can be sensitive and hard to manage sometimes. We don't encourage IG's with small children.
PROS: Italian Greyhounds are sweet and loving dogs. They’re easy to groom. Low shedding but not hypoallergenic. Big snugglers. They’re like potato chips...can't have just one. Smart. Beautiful. They do well with adults. Total lap dog. Loves being under the covers.